Text by Nadim Baker. Photo by Rosalinda Whybrow.
“I went to a very science-orientated high school in Estonia, but I felt that this wasn’t my true calling. I always enjoyed creative and philosophical subjects more. But I am quite a practical person and I want to have a tangible impact in the real world. So, as a compromise, I went to study law and ended up loving it. Law has actually the potential to be very fulfilling. For example, even drafting a contract can be creative. It’s all about playing with legal paragraphs and abstract concepts, finding new interpretations and connections where one usually wouldn’t see them.”
Carolin Toomingas is a lawyer from Estonia. She went on Erasmus exchange to Göttingen, Germany in 2016.
“The Estonian legal system is very much inspired by the German one. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Estonia regained its independence in the early 1990s, the entire legislation also had to be rebuilt. We’re such a young country and maybe this is why we are very open towards change and innovation. It’s truly a digital society – a lot of our governmental services are available online. This has a huge advantage for people, because they don’t have to go through tedious bureaucracy to get their stuff done. You can file your taxes within a couple of minutes!”
As of March 2018, Carolin is working in Brussels as a Blue Book Trainee at the European Commission’s DG GROW*.
“Keeping the history of my country in mind, I cherish its independence even more. My grandmother grew up in a Siberian forced labour camp. Her family was deported there in the 1940s and they were allowed to resettle to their homeland only in the 1950s. My parents spent their youths living under the authoritarian Soviet regime. And now look at me: I am in Brussels with more opportunities than I would have ever imagined. I am European and I can do anything I want.”
* DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs